News Briefs

  • 3/23/2023

    Pool Safe inc. Unveils New Name, Logo and Website for Loungenie, a Rebrand of its PoolSafe Product

    Loungenie product on hotel pool dek

    Pool Safe Inc. celebrates a new name, logo and website for its popular PoolSafe product. Originally launched in late 2012, the newly rebranded Loungenie by Pool Safe Inc. offers guests of hotels, resorts, cruise ships and waterparks a safe and convenient way to order, stash, charge and chill. Loungenie’s guest-friendly service options include:

    • A waterproof electronic safe to store guests’ valuables
    • Service call button that alerts service staff to a guest’s order
    • Storage compartment with an insulated ice bucket
    • USB charging port for charging small electronic devices
    • Three beverage holders and more

    “Loungenie is a fantastic addition to any guest experience. It allows a hotel or waterpark to ensure their guests’ belongings are safely stowed while driving F&B sales and improving staff performance,” said David Berger, CEO, Pool Safe Inc.

    Mr. Berger developed the pool safe concept in response to a need expressed by hotel and resort operators who were looking for a way to curb theft around the pool and beach area. Starting in late 2012, Mr. Berger spent two years designing and engineering a prototype that he then tested in a large pool setting at a well-known resort brand in Las Vegas.

    Today, Loungenie’s are being used in a variety of venues throughout the U.S., the Caribbean and East Asia. The Company continues to innovate the Loungenie to ensure the product provides its users with an impactful and enriched experience.

    “Since the original concept, we have continued to work with our clients to make Loungenie a more effective, user-friendly product,” said David Berger, CEO, Pool Safe Inc. “We’re excited to unveil our rebrand and to share improvements we’ve made to the product including increasing the size of the solar panel, increasing the voltage going to the USB port as well as upgrading our software to make the sales process more efficient.”

    Pool Safe Inc. offers clients an option to participate in a revenue share program that allows facilities to introduce the Loungenie to their customers without any upfront costs.

  • 2/6/2023

    Salad and Go Expands in Texas

    Salad and Go  salad and iced tea

    Up and coming QSR  Salad and Go  is expanding in Texas with three new locations opening in February in the Houston markets of Katy, Richmond and League City.

    The Katy store located opened February 1, the Richmond location at  is set to open February 17, and the League City store plans to open its doors on February 22. These new locations will mark the start of rapid brand expansion across the Greater Houston area.

    These suburbs were strategically selected as ideal markets for Salad and Go as some of the fastest growing communities in the region. Conveniently located in some of Houston's most popular suburbs, the new locations will provide fresh, high-quality meals with quick and easy convenience at an affordable price.

    As Salad and Go continues growing its national presence with a strong focus on Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and Nevada, the brand's expansive growth has it on a positive trajectory to provide fresh and affordable food to communities in more than 125 locations by the end of 2023. Houston is the next step in the brand's expansion across Texas with plans to open additional stores in the market throughout the new year.

    Salad and Go's chef-curated menu provides guests with food for any time of the day by offering a variety of delicious and healthy items including salads, wraps, breakfast burritos and soup as well as beverages including hand-crafted lemonades, teas and cold brew coffees.

    Salad and Go ensures each meal contains fresh, quality ingredients while keeping prices low by vertically integrating operations and distribution, and sourcing ingredients directly from high-quality local farmers and suppliers whenever possible. The brand's mission to make fresh, nutritious food convenient and affordable for ALL extends beyond its stores and is demonstrated in the work the brand does to donate 4,000 meals every week to those in need, as well as in partnerships with nonprofits to support and fundraise for various worthy causes.

  • 1/9/2023

    Focus Brands Accelerates Dual Branded Locations

    Foucs Brand dual branded Jamba Juice and Auntie Annes

    Focus Brands says dual branding is the future of QSR, and the parent company of Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Schlotzsky’s, is leading the charge. Today, the Focus Brands portfolio boasts 175-plus open dual branded units with at least 65 more in various stages of development across the country. 

    Drive-Thru Convenience

    The Focus Brands portfolio brands have signed agreements to open more than 50 dual and tri-brand locations in the coming year, many of which include drive-thrus for added convenience as interest in dual branded franchise opportunities continues to surge.

    Flexible Store Formats

    Focus Brands is among the brands introducing new store formats, including Krystal, Jack-in-the-Box and Panera Bread, which opened its Panera To Go, solely offering Rapid Pick-Up and Delivery shelves where guests and delivery drivers can easily pick up orders.  

    Focus Brands has long pioneered the concept of dual branding, predominately in malls and non-traditional locations with Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon. Now, the company’s portfolio brands have found new opportunities with streetside dual branded units, which is paving the way for immense franchise growth. 

    “Dual branding is the future of our brands, especially on the specialty side of the business,” said Brian Krause, Chief Development Officer at Focus Brands. “There will always be a place in malls, but there is an immense amount of growth opportunity in streetside venues, and, by dual branding, there is more opportunity for enhanced revenue.”

    The company invested heavily in consumer research to identify how to create combinations of its iconic brands to resonate with consumers and meet them where they want to be met.

    Focus Brands has identified four dual-brand concepts:

    • Auntie Anne’s/Cinnabon
    • Auntie Anne’s/Cinnabon/Carvel
    • Auntie Anne’s/Jamba
    • Cinnabon/Carvel – Cinnabon Swirl. 

    While key consumer benefits vary by dual-brand combination, one consistent benefit has been convenience. Having these brands together in one location makes them far more accessible than they are individually. This convenience also creates opportunity for franchisees, as co-branding leads to an expansive menu that drives enhanced unit-level volume. 


  • 3/23/2023

    HRI Hospitality Leverages Knowland’s Portfolio Capture to Gain a Unified View of Meetings and Events Performance Across its Portfolio

    HRI Hospitality property exterior of building

    Knowland, a provider of data-as-a-service insights on meetings and events for hospitality, announced that HRI Hospitality (HRIH), a fully integrated owner, operator, and developer of premium branded hotels in top national markets, has adopted Knowland’s Portfolio Capture, following a successful testing period. The product is a complement to the Knowland platform and was designed to provide a comprehensive, unified view of meetings and events business performance across an entire portfolio.

    At a time of increased pressure on hospitality ROI, it’s essential for ownership and management groups to understand better how a property contributes to the portfolio’s overall performance. Portfolio Capture allows for roll-up reporting and benchmarking all in one place.

    • Comparing portfolio properties – This complement to the Knowland platform makes it easy for asset managers and ownership groups to benchmark properties in their portfolios against each other, make investment decisions, view competitive performance, and identify top sales opportunities.
    • Standardized KPIs for each portfolio property relative to its competitive set and market – Portfolio properties can be compared against defined competitive sets and operating markets, giving more context to current and past performance. By leveraging Portfolio Capture, HRIH gauges property results against standardized KPIs to measure a hotel’s market share compared to its direct competitors.

    Chad Goodnough, senior vice president, sales and marketing, HRIH, said: “Using Portfolio Capture allows our team to see both individual and portfolio data for the meeting, group, and event market. Having access to the key performance indicators has increased efficiency and ensured the right selling strategies, resulting in a measurable positive impact on hotel revenues and market share.

    Patricia Shea, VP sales and customer success, Knowland, said: “Portfolio managers need a simple, fast solution to understand their relative market performance and the actions needed to improve ROI. We are thrilled to have HRI Hospitality be one of the first management companies to experience this innovative solution while leveraging the power of data to gain insight into their portfolio.”

  • 3/23/2023

    Bolay Kitchen Taps YOOBIC to Boost Communication, Heighten Compliance, and Empower and Engage Frontline Employees

    restaurant worker using tablet

    Fast-casual restaurant chain Bolay Kitchen announced exceptional results from its partnership with YOOBIC, a frontline employee experience platform for frontline teams in the retail and hospitality spaces. Utilized across Bolay’s rapidly expanding portfolio of restaurants in Florida, Georgia, and Virginia, YOOBIC’s all-in-one platform has dramatically improved employee engagement and communication, operational excellence, and store compliance.    

    One of America’s fastest growing fast-casual eateries, Bolay Kitchen sets itself apart by focusing not only on fresh, delicious, and nutritious food, but also by providing staff members with unmatched employee experiences and growth opportunities. Bolay has harnessed YOOBIC to advance these goals, equipping associates with a workplace solution that empowers them to liaise with and learn from colleagues and company leaders, access immersive learning and development (L&D) content, and increase productivity by digitizing time-consuming analogue tasks.   

    “YOOBIC has helped us solve a huge number of challenges by offering an all-in-one solution where we can communicate with our team, send out training, and have operational checklists to make sure we’re executing at our best,” said Sam Rubino, Bolay Kitchen’s Director of Operational Excellence. “After doing dozens and dozens of different demos with different LMS systems and different pieces of technology, when we met the YOOBIC team it was almost too good to be true”.

    Taking the Pain out of Task Management 

    Prior to adopting YOOBIC, Bolay’s frontline team was reliant on a disparate medley of third-party workplace apps, spreadsheets, and pen-and-paper documents. Equipped with YOOBIC’s unified virtual platform, the restaurant’s customer-facing staff can now automate and accelerate the completion of manual tasks — like opening checklists — allowing them to focus on higher-value work, such as building customer relationships. Thanks to YOOBIC’s automated dashboards, store leaders can track their team’s completion of duties, assign new tasks, and provide feedback in real-time. 

    Bolay Leads on L&D Thanks to YOOBIC

    Since rolling out YOOBIC, Bolay has significantly increased the speed of its staff onboarding process — a vital improvement as the business scales quickly with new locations and employees. Bolay is now onboarding workers 50% faster than before, leveraging YOOBIC’s sophisticated suite of educational courses to speedily integrate new recruits to frontline teams without the need for lengthy in-person training sessions. 

    YOOBIC’s comprehensive L&D capabilities have also been revolutionary for Bolay’s commitment to continuous employee development. Restaurant leaders can now integrate training into team members’ workflows, delivering interactive courses on SOP, health and safety, and new recipes straight to their mobile devices in bite-sized chunks. This microlearning process is infused with data, so managers can gain detailed insights into their workers’ progress — and when specific knowledge gaps are detected by YOOBIC’s advanced AI, relevant training materials can be pushed out directly. 

    Major Upgrade to Compliance and Communications 

    Like most fast-scaling retail and hospitality businesses, Bolay Kitchen’s expansion has brought challenges around compliance. YOOBIC’s workplace solution is helping the company overcome these issues, allowing regional and district leaders to complete audit checklists digitally, assign action plans, send reports to store managers, and monitor progress via automated dashboards. This approach is far more efficient and precise than manually inputting compliance data, helping Bolay achieve better brand consistency and higher health scores across its restaurant network.

    By adopting YOOBIC’s all-in-one frontline employee experience platform, Bolay Kitchen has also greatly improved communication throughout the company. With access to private messaging, video calls, and group chats, staff members can now interact with one-another more easily, helping build a strong sense of community. Social media-style newsfeeds enhance this, creating a space for members of the Bolay family to share announcements, swap success stories, and post other pieces of inspirational content. Frontline staff can also use the platform to communicate directly with store managers and company leaders to share their advice, concerns, and feedback — something that ensures all Bolay employees feel heard.  

    “We are thrilled to have been chosen by a brand as innovative and exciting as Bolay Kitchen,” said Fabrice Haiat, CEO and co-founder of YOOBIC. “Companies like Bolay understand that scaling fast requires efficiency, attention to detail, and a commitment to delivering a compelling guest experience that keeps people coming back for more. At YOOBIC, we’re committed to providing retail and hospitality businesses the tools they need to succeed now and in the future.”

  • 3/22/2023

    The Little Nell Launches INTELITY’s Platform to Elevate Guest Experience

    Little Nell hotel in Colorado

    INTELITY®, a guest experience and staff management platform, announced The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado, has implemented the INTELITY platform, via smart-room tablets, which provide the property’s guests with a more digital, upscale experience, as well as GEMS®, INTELITY’s collection of staff-facing tools.

    Located at the base of Aspen Mountain, The Little Nell is Aspen's only five-star, five-diamond, ski-in/ski-out hotel. The property boasts luxurious amenities, personalized service, beautiful mountain views, renowned restaurants, and spacious accommodations, including 92 guest rooms and suites. 

    Each of the rooms and suites now features INTELITY’s robust guest experience platform delivered on a Bluetooth-enabled smart-room tablet that acts as a digital compendium to provide guests with detailed information regarding all aspects of the property, including, services, amenities, menus for on-site restaurants, a list of events, and more. With a tap of a finger, guests can request services and amenities, while staff can easily track and manage these requests via the INTELITY back-end platform and its integration with the property’s internal communications system, ALICE. The Little Nell's team can manage all content of the smart-room tablets from the INTELITY platform’s backend, including real-time updates to their digital compendiums, food and beverage menus, and digital storefront items. Additionally, the INTELITY-powered smart-room tablets provide guests with access to news and media sites, as well as allow them to check their flight status. 

    “The INTELITY platform provides us with endless application options to best inform our guests and offer conveniences for them, and the digital aspect of delivery over tablets supports our environmental and sustainability efforts by reducing the amount of paper collateral needed in a guest room, which has long been one of our objectives,” said Henning Rahm, The Little Nell’s General Manager. “We are excited to have partnered with INTELITY on this initiative.”

    Additional benefits for The Little Nell are the advertising capabilities that INTELITY’s platform provides by allowing the property to promote its activities, adventures, and on-site events directly to guests. From the menu item tabs to the ad banner, guests can easily navigate through the list of free and for-purchase events and activities to enhance their stay in Aspen. The home screen configuration acts as a smart display with features, such as reservation details, date, time, and weather, plus the ability to set up alarm clocks. Guests can also check on and keep track of their requests and any accrued charges to their room during their stay.

    Thanks to the INTELITY platform’s integration capabilities, the smart-room tablets are also integrated with The Little Nell’s internal service request system, which allows guests the convenience of submitting a variety of requests — from fresh towels to ice buckets to dog bowls. 

    “We are delighted to have added The Little Nell to the INTELITY family of properties,” said Robert Stevenson, INTELITY’s CEO. “INTELITY’s platform will create a more seamless and memorable journey for guests at one of the best ski destinations on the planet while easing the back-of-house operations for The Little Nell's staff."

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